NSC Expands Grant Programs To Solve The Most Common Workplace Injury

National Safety Council has committed up to $535,000 in grants to foster development of methods to mitigate musculoskeletal disorders across a range of sectors and workplaces.

The National Safety Council (NSC) will award up to an additional $260,000 this year through pioneering grant programs to help develop new safety solutions to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The grants are being added following the debut of the Research to Solutions (R2S) grant and MSD Solutions Pilot Grant in 2023. As a key initiative of NSC’s MSD Solutions Lab, established in 2021 with funding from Amazon, a total of up to $535,000 has been committed to foster innovative, transferable methods to mitigate this most common workplace injury.

“Bringing together the brightest minds and pushing the boundaries of MSD prevention research and technology is at the heart of all we do,” said Paul Vincent, NSC executive vice president of workplace practice.

“We’re proud to bring back these grants for another year so we can expand our network of top innovators to solve this pervasive safety challenge, and ultimately help workers lead safer, healthier lives on and off the job,” he added.

Most Common Workplace Injury
(Photo: Adobe Stock / dusanpetkovic1)


“We are pleased to continue our partnership with NSC on the MSD Solutions Lab,” said Sarah Rhoads, Vice President of Global Workplace Health and Safety at Amazon. “The Research to Solutions and MSD Pilot Grant programs will advance research and create scalable MSD mitigation programs that help improve safety for employees on a global scale.”

MSDs include tendinitis, back strains and sprains, as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, and are often caused by exposures to repetitive, forceful exertions like heavy lifting. They affect people in every industry and sector, and cost U.S. businesses in the private sector nearly $17 billion a year, according to the Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index.

Grants Support MSD Prevention

Recognizing the scope of these injuries, each grant is designed to further MSD prevention:

  • Research to Solutions will award up to $50,000 per approved research project, for a total of $200,000 in grants. Academic institutions, businesses and industries are invited to innovate new solutions for MSDs, focusing on occupational injury risk reduction that can be seamlessly integrated across a range of sectors and workplaces. R2S proposals should support one or more key research areas, including emerging technologies, solutions to jobs or tasks known to have high MSD risk, MSD management systems, and total worker wellbeing.

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  • MSD Pilot Grant will award up to $20,000 per approved project, for a total of $60,000 in grants. It aims to reduce MSDs caused by upper-extremity work by matching organizations with innovative technology providers to trial emerging technologies in real-life applications. This grant is available to members of the MSD Pledge community willing to partner with the six leading technology providers featured at the 2023 NSC Safety Congress & Expo.

NSC will announce the list of this year’s grant recipients in May 2024. Winners will have an opportunity to present their safety findings at the 2025 NSC Safety Congress & Expo, or another event. For the current 2023-2024 grant cycle, the inaugural recipients will share their key learnings and research at this year’s NSC Safety Congress & Expo in Orlando, Florida from September 16-18.

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